YouTube preparing to battle Spotify with latest offering

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 18 May 2018

YouTube is preparing to disrupt the local music streaming market this month with the launch of its new app, YouTube Music, next week.

Australia is one of five markets to trial the new service globally, with the app also being made available to users in the US, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea.

The new service will go live 23 May, before launching it throughout Europe and the United Kingdom soon after.

The mobile app and desktop player will provide similar functions to competitor Spotify, offering users a personalised home screen which adapts to provide recommendations based on listening history.

YouTube Music users can access the new ad-supported version of the app for free, however a premium, ad-free, function will be made available for AU$11.99 a month.

Premium includes features such as background listening and downloads. Google Play Music subscribers will also be able to access YouTube Music Premium for free.

YouTube Music will feature official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio plus YouTube’s catalogue of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos.

Custom playlists have also been developed based around activities such as 'workout' or 'airport'.

Google is moving into a less cluttered market here in Australia, with Spotify remaining the strongest competition following the departure of Pandora last year, as well as SoundCloud closing its local office around the same time.

Amazon Music also entered the marketed in February this year, launching with more than 45 million songs, and hundreds of curated playlists and personalised stations featuring local acts - all accessible using voice controls.

Free broadcast and internet radio platform, I Heart Radio is also making strides in the Australian market.

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